For our elderly folks, successful ageing and maintaining a quality of life are major considerations. Due to the rapidly ageing population, the primary health difficulties are physical weakness or handicap, sensory impairment like loss of hearing, or chronic diseases like dementia as well as diabetes. Active ageing, however, involves more than simply biophysical health.
Moreover, the senior population is at risk from mental stress issues including loneliness and even depression, which already took approximately 88,000 Singaporeans who pass away all alone. The early 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has significantly deteriorated the situation. In addition, many Singaporeans in their later years worry about their financial stability due to rising healthcare expenses, insufficient retirement income, and fewer job prospects. The most prevalent problems elderly face in Singapore and the essential gaps in care for vulnerable seniors are highlighted in this article.
Absence of Commitment and Interaction
The elderly in Singapore are becoming isolated from the wider population due to ageism and antiquated societal norms, as studied by a team of experts from the National University of Singapore. There isn’t much in their favor to do but stay at home and anticipate the odd family get-together. The majority of the population, particularly the elderly, will suffer as a result of fewer possibilities for physical and mental stimulation of any kind, infrequent meaningful encounters with loved ones or people of a different age group, and an upsurge in mental health anxiety globally.
Giving senior citizens the freedom to participate properly in worthwhile pursuits, whether they are connected to work or community, will keep them occupied and make them feel valuable. These might consist of paid volunteer work, movie evenings, and other pleasurable social activities held at active ageing centres.
Mistreatment and Abuse
Age-related physical and mental decline leads to reliance, and increasing reliance on a family member or untrained caregiver raises the risk of abuse if the former is unaware of or unwilling to follow adequate caring procedures. Elderly persons suffer several difficulties, including neglect from busy family members, which greatly distresses them. Because of this, family members should refrain from providing care for the elderly if they are already juggling other obligations from their families and jobs. A professional caregiver must be given the task of caring for the elderly since they have the necessary equipment and resources and can do it with the utmost care.
Due to a lack of employment prospects, elderly Singaporeans with little finances may find it more difficult than their younger colleagues to improve their financial situation. Many older Singaporeans depend on a fixed source of income until they reach retirement age, which is sometimes insufficient to cover their medical expenses and maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to. Senior parents could have little option but to live independently and handle their costs on their own, particularly within the present era, where more older individuals choose to live alone and families are getting more distant.
It is important to develop new initiatives to design and fund comprehensive geriatric care systems in order to improve the financial security of the elderly.
Difficulty with Mobility and Daily Tasks
A person’s inherent dexterity declines as they become older, which may make even the simplest chores much more challenging with senior mobility problems. This might make it very difficult to maintain the same quality of life that you formerly did in your social and professional relationships. More laws and initiatives like the Falls Prevention Programme that include senior citizens in a way that allows them to live a healthy, balanced life are needed to prevent this. A lot more convenience and less stress may be achieved in life by using professional caregivers and making home accessible for elderly.
Apprehension of Being a Heavy Responsibility
Senior folks get anxious as they age about burdening their family, particularly when they haven’t previously received the required affection and support. In reality, research indicates that many elderly persons who desire euthanasia do so out of concern about weighing down their families. This typically results from a loss of autonomy, health issues, or a perception of being different from other people, all of which can swiftly lead to emotions of shame, inferiority, and depression.
How to Handle Common Health Issues in Seniors
The life expectancy of Singaporeans has grown due to greater living conditions in our society and the continuously enhancing healthcare system. It’s possible that leading an active, healthy way of life may not guarantee living longer. We all worry about our well-being as we get older since there are so many issues, including high cholesterol along with other chronic health problems in older adults.
Better healthcare services and facilities and contemporary technology have made it attainable for individuals to live longer, but this does not mean that older folks should just rely on modern medicine to be physically well. Irrespective of how old we get, it is always important for us to maintain a good diet, practice safety, and lead an active lifestyle.
Isolation and Depression
Many older citizens struggle with loneliness, losing loved ones, or being dependent on others in addition to physical illness. Support for organizations that engage with elders, plan social activities or wellness events for them, foster intergenerational relationships, or help recipients with their healthcare requirements, such as scheduling visits and medical appointments, is urgently needed.
Elderly Care and Assisted Living
Everyone wants to put off institutional care and let individuals age at home, in elderly studio apartments in Singapore, or in their community. The need for home nursing, home therapy, food delivery, assistive equipment, and fall prevention services will grow as the total number of elderly with mobility difficulties or age-related illnesses rises. Additionally, center-based eldercare programs like daycare, senior group homes, and assisted living schemes will play a much larger role here.
Primary care’s future rests in the life cycle, with frequent checks to preserve sound health while avoiding disease, quality treatment that is focused on the patient instead of the physician or institution, and a structure that allows for seamless transitions between different levels of care. That said, the inner workings of person-centered care, from services provided at homes and centers to initiatives to help caregivers.
Making Plans for Hospice Care
The palliative care system is understaffed in terms of both healthcare professionals and specialists, as well as prior care planning. There is a need for increased knowledge and better choices for hospice care provided impatiently, at home, or in daycare.